July 13, 2015
Alcolu, SC (WLTX)- On Saturday the young boy, executed without a fair trial was honored with a memorial.
George Stinney Jr. was 14-years-old when he was electrocuted in the connection of the death of two young white girls in Alcolu.
George Stinney Jr. was convicted of killing 11-year-old Betty Binnicker and 7-year-old Mary Emma Thames in Alcolu. Three months after his trial he was executed in the electric chair.
His name was cleared last year after almost 70 years. Now the family seeks closure.
The memorial was organized by ‘A New Day’ or A.N.D.
“It was three families touched by this death, we were hurt and so were the two little girls families” says Irene Lawson-Hill the second cousin to George Stinney Jr.
She along with about 20 other family members were at the memorial. She says she’s happy to see new things added to the stone because it keeps his memory alive.
“They added this face, the picture wasn’t there. They had the execution date, they had his name and birthday” says Lawson-Hill. “I hope that no other kid in America, no matter what state they live in will not through this again. That there will be physical evidence before they execute another person”.
To fully heal, she says their family needs a public apology.
“We know we have to forgive the state for what happened, we can’t bring him back from what happened. But we feel that an apology would help mend our hearts to let us know that the state is behind us, that they didn’t just ignore this case” she says.
At the memorial, students from Ridge View High School sang the National Anthem. This group dedicated a full school project to his memory in 2013.
“His conviction was mostly due to racial profiling and because of his race so we feel that keeping his memory alive is kind of like showing south Carolina has made a mistake and that these mistakes are still being made and we have to realize them and go back and look at how people are convicted and profiled” says Kiana Sweatt a student at Ridge View.